Now THIS is good writing! Here are the first few paragraphs from an article that floored me in it’s structure, topic choice, and the focused manner in which it presents itself. Kudos to John Maeda for knocking one out of the park for Wired.
We already know that design matters. Product design. Industrial design. Experience design. Supply chain design. Witness the renewed fervor for the iPhone 5 today: It goes way beyond function to sheer desire. Nobody wants objects or experiences that just do the job – they want something they want to do the job with.
So instead of competing on technology, people began to compete on design. And now everyone seems to be trying to out-design each other. But designed objects and experiences have become the norm – some would even say boring.
Design is no longer the killer differentiator.
When I watched my graduate students at the MIT Media Lab code with Ruby on Rails – and that was over 6 years ago – I could just viscerally sense the shift: It was becoming easier than ever to develop and deploy sophisticated web services. With tools like Processing for information design and open-source platforms like Arduino for building electronics, programming and prototyping became simpler, more widespread. Simple technology tools have and continue to spread design everywhere.
But what people want today goes well beyond technology and design. They don’t just want four wheels and a means to steer, or to be surrounded by music and information wherever their eyes and ears may roam. What people are looking for now is a way to reconnect with their values: to ground how they can, will, and should live in the world.
The innovation now needs to occur elsewhere. Outside the design. Into, quite frankly, the world of art.